(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.)
Sometimes images stay with you longer than a video. A single moment in time, whether funny or poignant, could tell a bigger story. The game of hockey provides such stunning photography that choosing the best 10 in 2014 wasn't an easy task.
Here are the top 10 hockey photos of 2014.
10. Orebro fans' touching tribute to player's mom (STA via Aftonbladet)
Jared Aulin has spent the last four years playing for Orebro of the Swedish Hockey League. Last spring, he found out his mother had been diagnosed with cancer, a battle she would sadly lose in October. Before a game in March, Orebro fans showed support for one of their own by unveiling this banner in one end of the rink.
9. Team USA's women see golden dreams dashed by a post. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)
Team USA came this close to scoring an empty-netter and putting away Canada to win the gold medal in Sochi. Instead, the puck clanked off the post, giving their bitter rivals new life. The Canadians would take advantage of the opportunity by tying the game with under a minute left in the third period. In overtime, Marie-Philip Poulin played hero as the Canadian women won their fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal.
Here's what it looked and sounded like from the stands, via YouTube user chezyt:
105,491 fans. An "Original Six" match-up. A snowy setting. The 2014 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium was the perfect setting for the league's annual outdoor showcase.
7. Sochi Bear reacts to Russia's exit from Olympic hockey tournament (@Sochi2014, Twitter)
Russian fans were left disappointed when their hockey team exited the Sochi’s men’s tournament without a medal. Their 3-1 loss to Finland in the quarterfinals ended hopes of glorious celebrations and left poor Sochi Bear despondant and inconsolable.
6. T.J. Oshie vs. Sergei Bobrovsky (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Even though it was only the second game of the tournament for both the U.S. and Russia, the T.J Oshie show in the shootout was one of the more memorable moments of the entire Sochi Olympics. The Team USA forward beat Sergei Bobrovsky four times in six chances en route to a 3-2 win. This photo perfectly captures the intensity of the one-on-one battle.
5. Anze Kopitar and his dog, Gustl, enjoy treats from their own Stanley Cups (Anze Kopitar, Instagram)
While daddy enjoyed munching on a treat from the real Stanley Cup, Gustl had to settle for his own in a smaller Cup. It might not be the best photo of 2014, but it is definitely the most adorable one.
4. Travis Hamonic, Nick Bjugstad share a moment along the boards (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Just your typical beautiful work from Bruce Bennett, who captures this great shot of the moment of impact. The ice shavings flying, Hamonic's reaction, the reflection in the glass... hockey is gorgeous.
3. Jaromir Jagr performs selfie photobomb (@RayFoy4, Twitter)
Jagr has turned into a softy in his old age. No longer the young diva, the 42-year old has turned into a wise, old sage, focused on having fun in his old age. While he’s still working on his selfie game off the ice, Jagr is pretty much a pro when helping others take their own. (Cory Schneider's presence in the photo is really underrated.)
2. Guy Lafleur says goodbye to Jean Beliveau (@Pandaramaaa, Twitter)
The hockey world took a hit earlier this month when we lost the great Jean Beliveau. During his two-day wake at Bell Centre, a live feed caught this image of one legendary Montreal Canadien saying goodbye to another.
1. Gary Bettman meets Kiss (Robert Beck - Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
When the NHL Commissioner pictured how the Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium would go, he probably never expected to be put in a head-lock by Gene Simmons of Kiss. But it happened and it’s our best hockey photo of the 2014.
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